Engines start to roar, propellers spin, and a large parachute expands into the sky, carrying a light aircraft and its passengers toward the clouds. Silver Lining Aviation's certified instructors create adventures like this every day as they teach visitors to soar behind the controls of sport aircrafts such as powered parachutes, weight-shift trikes, and gyroplanes. Led by licensed FAA flight instructor Craig Ewing, Silver Lining's team takes prospective pilots on introductory flights that allow them to experience aircrafts such as the Airwolf 912 and nibble on different flavors of clouds. The aviation experts also sell sport aircrafts, which patiently wait onsite as customers work through custom ground- and flight-training programs. In most cases, the flight instructors prepare their pupils for aerial navigation in as little as two weeks. They also assist new pilots with replacement parts, provide 24/7 support, and cook oil soup to feed hungry aircraft.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
At Orlando Hang Gliding, a USHPA-certified hang gliding school, pilots work toward earning their solo pilot’s license through programs designed to help them become an expert glider. The Level I program comprises six tandem flights at over 1,000 feet. During these sessions, a certified instructor helps the student learn such skills as launch techniques, water landings, and in-flight maneuvers—crucial when trying to shake an autograph-seeking pigeon. Once complete, students matriculate to the Level II program, a nine-flight regimen that prepares them for their first solo flight. Prior to signing up, potential pilots can enroll in an Introductory Class, which includes one tandem flight with a certified instructor. Orlando Hang Gliding helps gliders get some wind beneath their wings via a power boat cruising across Biscayne Bay, due to the absence of local mountains or hidden cloud cities from which to take off.
Nestled on 40 sprawling acres, 5 Star Stables & Tack’s knowledgeable staff welcomes tender-footed riders and experienced equestrians alike with English and Western lessons, myriad trail rides, and summer camps for kids. Roomy stables house resident steeds and boarding horses inside stalls equipped with air-circulating fans, automatic watering systems, and secret compartments where they can stash their Mr. Ed fan fiction. With two indoor arenas—one for hunter/jumper riders and one for riders wishing to simply practice the basics—equestrians can hone horse-top techniques year-round. Outside, a sprawling cross-country course, round pen, and access to more than 1,000 acres of trails provide seemingly endless options for mounted exploration, as well as new challenges for more advanced riders. The facility also offers clinics and in-house training for all skill levels and ages, and keeps riders and their mounts properly outfitted with an onsite tack shop.
The teachers at Namaste Flow Yoga firmly believe in yoga's physical and mental health benefits. They pass on their convictions in classes rooted in traditional yoga practice but updated for modern sensibilities. Classes include yoga fundamentals, cardio flow, Vinyasa power flow, and tai chai, and vary in style from dynamic calorie-burning workouts to calm, meditative retreats.
Bowland Centers specialize in family entertainment, boasting multiple lanes and modern scoring systems that add a degree of leisure to any frame. Lanes are equipped with kid-friendly pop-up bumpers and spacious seating areas—the prime place to lace up a fresh pair of shoes ($3.25 per pair). Play game by game ($4.25 per game) or rent a lane by the hour ($16 before 6 p.m., $20 after 6 p.m.) while taking in the symphony of pin-knocks and hand-fives. En route to the semi-perfect game, guests can also stop by Nemo's Sports Cafe, which features ample amounts of eats and drinks, big screens televisions, and people who know your name, because you typed it up on the scoreboard.